back to article Microsoft to offer (very) limited support for Linux on Azure

Microsoft has announced it will offer “limited support for major Linux distributions, third party and Open source technologies on Azure.” “Limited” might be a bit too kind a term for Microsoft's willingness to support Penguinistas. At present, the company welcomes Linux virtual machines to Azure but if something goes awry will …

  1. thames
    Linux

    Hell just froze over

    Weren't they saying not that long ago that Linux was "cancer"? What changed, was it finding out that they won't be taken seriously as a "cloud" provider if they don't offer Linux?

    I won't be surprised if within 5 or 10 years they start offering their own Linux server distro, and if within 10 to 15 Windows starts getting the "Silverlight" treatment.

    1. Ole Juul

      Re: Hell just froze over

      "What changed, was it finding out that they won't be taken seriously as a "cloud" provider if they don't offer Linux?"

      Yes.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hell just froze over

      Don't count on that! They're just trying to make you pay for Windows if you want to use Linux, it's just as simple as that.

      1. Ole Juul

        Re: Hell just froze over

        "Don't count on that! . . . if you want to use Linux,

        In fact I don't. I've been using BSD for years - partly because I want to stay clear of stuff like that.

        1. ofr

          Re: Hell just froze over

          You do know that Microsoft contributes to the FreeBSD kernel and is a gold sponsor of OpenBSD, right?

          1. Ole Juul

            Re: Hell just froze over

            You do know that Microsoft contributes to the FreeBSD kernel and is a gold sponsor of OpenBSD, right?

            Of course, Microsoft contributes to a lot of things, even medical research. I don't see how I could use that information to make a choice about whether or not to use BSD.

          2. W. Anderson

            Re: Hell just froze over

            I "do" know that Microsoft's contributions to FreeBSD project is "precisely" because Microsoft uses the FeeBSD Networking stack - for "all" it's networking functionality, since the company' own network stack development efforts have failed miserable at every attempt, and supporting the continued innovation and improvements of FreeBSD netwroking is in their own interest.

            The OpenBSD donation or contribution is "strictly" for OpenSSH, which OpenBSD developed and "fully" controls, and since, like all UNIX/Linux and UNIX-like operating systems (including Apple Mac OS X), Microsoft depends on continued development, improvement and maintenance of OpenSSH, such money outlay is wise and prudent.

            I trust this clarafication is acceptable to "technologically and factually ignorant" Microsofties who may falsely interpret that these BSD entities "need or rely on" Microsoft to any degree what-so-ever.

    3. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: Hell just froze over

      The temperature has been dropping for years. Nadella clearly knows where his business is going (Office for Android, patent trolling Linux and hefty price hikes for legacy Windows updates). Learning to do Linux support is a clear step in the direction of getting revenue from that activity.

      The funny part is watching Nadella not say that is the plan. He gets smacked hard for not saying enough about Windows Phone in every press release. He would get crucified for honesty, so we see press releases packed full of waffle.

      The next big step will be to unblur the accounts to make it clear which departments are profit centres.

    4. TheVogon

      Re: Hell just froze over

      That's more support on the end of a phone than you get from most Linux distros...

  2. kryptylomese

    There is way more Linux than Microsoft in the business world when it comes to servers, so why is this such a surprise?

    Microsoft should release a Linux distro with all the Windows code open sourced and be done with it - they are not relevant any more!

    1. TheVogon

      Actually the latest figures from Forbes show that Windows Server has a 75% market share of the business world...

      1. kirovs

        In terms of revenue, maybe though I doubt even that. Care to provide a link?

        In terms of units it is a very different story.

  3. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

    I'm missing something here. Why would you use Azure if you don't have to?

    I know Microsoft give it away 'free' to startups and the like, but why use it otherwise? It's not like there aren't better alternatives.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I bet support for Windows 10 on Azure will be worse still.

  5. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Not interested as long as AWS exists

  6. naive

    It can go both ways

    From what i see in mid-sized companies making up our customer base is that all have quite large windows farms, and a few Linux systems, mostly for databases en websites.

    Roughly it is 95% Windows and 5% Linux systems. Within these companies, there is a wild variation in Linux distros of all sorts and ages. With the rudimentary Linux support in both HyperV and probably also Azure, most of these platforms won't run.

    In Europe the market and decision making processes are such that it is probable that these mid sized Microsoft shops might decide for Azure, after all, who gets fired for choosing Microsoft ?.

    With this scenario, the 5% Linux will just disappear, because MS won't stop FUD-ing these customers and in the end they will give in and shell out a few thousand for MS server cals to replace Linux.

    So if MS manages to gain significant market share with both HyperV and Azure, then Linux will be slowly strangled, causing it to go extinct in the data center of mid-sized companies. From a market perspective, it would be good if the European commission will watch this closely, it is strange if a company dominant in OS, becomes dominant in virtual machines too, then we are back in the 70's where 75% of every dollar spent on IT went to IBM.

    1. kryptylomese

      Re: It can go both ways

      You do not know many mid size companies or have any idea just how widespread Linux is in the world, and you are clearly unaware that most network hardware e.g. switches, routers etc run Linux also not to mention Android, and my favourite - just about the whole of the Top 500 list of supercomputers!

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_operating_systems

      Windows (server) is disappearing because it is crappy - good riddance!

    2. thames

      Re: It can go both ways

      @naive - "With the rudimentary Linux support in both HyperV and probably also Azure, most of these platforms won't run. (...) it is probable that these mid sized Microsoft shops might decide for Azure, after all, who gets fired for choosing Microsoft ?."

      "Who gets fired for choosing Microsoft?" - The IT managers who signed up for Azure and then found out afterwards that it wouldn't run their platforms? For people who don't want to get fired, figuring out if something offers only "rudimentary support" for something you need is usually one of the first steps in an evaluation.

      If you want detailed commercial support for the operating system or the software stacks running on the OS you would normally go to SUSE, Canonical, or CoreOS/Tectonic. That's what they do for a living, whether its running on VMWare in your own data centre, or on a "cloud" somewhere.

      This will be the same if you are running Windows on AWS by the way. Amazon will tell you if their "cloud" is running, but you have to talk to Microsoft for problems with Windows.

    3. W. Anderson

      Re: It can go both ways

      Since every "Stock Exchange", most all banks and Financial Services Firms rely on Linux/BSD UNIX0Like and soe legacy UNIX for the infrastructure, as well as every Internet Carrier and Services provider - Google, Facebook, Twitter, linked-In, eBay, Netflix, AT&T, Amazon, and dozens of the other largest technology usage companies in USA except Microsoft, the 5% figure for Linux server infrastructure is false, especially when the following tech companies have stated deploying significantly more NIX than Windows - IBM, Oracle, Cisco, etc.

      In europe most of the 27 countries in the European Union as well as Russia have "standardized" on NIX - in Government, Education, NGOs with business not far behind.

      China has blacklisted Windows, and use Linux for all new implementations.with most chinese corporations following closely behind via government mandate.

      Even Walmart, Target, TJM are following the Linux path with Openstack, especially for Cloud Computing services so the commenters info appears quite bogus.

    4. kirovs

      Re: It can go both ways

      Can you explain where you get your numbers from? Every source I have seen based on revenue or units gives Linux at a minimum ~25% of the market with Linux showing strong growth. Lookup Gartner and IDC reports.

  7. W. Anderson

    Microsoft's Trojan Linux support in Azure

    It is my clear understanding in direct comments from companies like RedHat, IBM, Oracle Corp, BMC and even Cisco and many others that the primary and probably only reason Microsoft provides any interoperation for Linux in it's Azue Cloud Computing services is because of overwhelming and strong customer "demand".

    Nothing that Microsoft has ever done, including it's announcement of “very limited “support for Linux indicate a "cooperative" effort that would allow Linux VMs in Azure to function efficiently, reliably and with good performance, especially superior to Azure Windows server solutions.

    Why does not Microsoft support RedHat Enterprise Linux, instead of CentOS which is a "community based" derivitave of RedHat without direct enterprise support that Microsoft's enterprise customers would expect?

    And if problems with integration of Linux working inside Azure do occure, which is inevitable given Microsoft's adversarial position and actions toward Linux, even until now, why would this stated policy in article ..."the company welcomes Linux virtual machines to Azure but if something goes awry will only tell you if Azure is to blame." …. not lead to practice of Microsoft eternally blaming "any problems" on the Linux factor of integration and not on Azure?

    Enterprises or any entity, large or small that fully understands the tremendous benefits of and prefers Linux in a Cloud Computing environment - for numerous credible technical and business good reasons, choose Microsoft as the Cloud Provider in first place, with the exception of a contractual agreement with Microsoft from which the customer cannot extricate themselves?

    Any other reasoning would indicate confused, convoluted thinking!

  8. DCLXV

    In other words

    We don't care what you do as long as you do it on Azure

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021